NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND: NEW FLEXIBILITY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES by aVr7Osb

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 2

									                             OREGON DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                         OFFICE OF STUDENT LEARNING & PARTNERSHIPS
                                        SUMMER 2005




             NEW FLEXIBILITY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
                  UNDER THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT

Background

Superintendent Susan Castillo has been working with the Oregon federal
delegation and other state chiefs to allow additional flexibility under the
provisions of No Child Left Behind. The new Secretary of Education, Margaret
Spellings, has offered options that apply directly to students with disabilities.

History

The initial flexibility, offered for statewide assessment under No Child Left
Behind, focused on students with disabilities who had significant cognitive
disabilities. This flexibility was made available to all states and allowed states to
apply the 1 percent cap rule (see below) when calculating Adequate Yearly
Progress (AYP). Oregon applied this flexibility during the 2004-2005 school year.

This flexibility overlooked a large number of students with disabilities who
function higher than those students identified for the 1 percent. Current scientific
research shows that students with disabilities, approximately 2 percent of the
school-aged population, can make progress toward grade-level standards when
provided targeted high-quality instruction.

New Flexibility

In addition to the current regulation that allows up to 1 percent of all students
being tested (those with the most significant cognitive disabilities) to be
designated as “meets achievement standards,” the new interim flexibility applies
to those students with persistent academic disabilities. This new flexibility allows
such students to take tests aligned to their instructional abilities. Their scores (up
to 2 percent of the scores) may be used to calculate school and district AYP.

As an interim plan, states could request approval to make adjustments to their
2004-2005 AYP definition for students with disabilities. Oregon applied for and
was granted approval.

The new calculations will occur at the Department and will be applied to the
2004-2005 assessment data. Schools and districts do not need to do anything
different for this year’s calculations.

The US Department of Education is working on final regulations to implement this
new policy. These regulations will be released under a notice of proposed
rulemaking to seek public comment prior to final release. The request for public


Flex/ayp                                                                      Page 1 of 2
                             OREGON DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                         OFFICE OF STUDENT LEARNING & PARTNERSHIPS
                                        SUMMER 2005




comment will be shared with all interested stakeholders. The goal of the final
regulations will be to:

              Ensure that states hold these students to challenging achievement
               standards that enable them to approach and even meet grade-level
               standards;
              Ensure access to the general curriculum to ensure that students in
               this group are taught to the same high standards;
              Measure these students’ progress with high-quality assessments so
               parents are confident that their students are learning and achieving;
              Provide guidance and training to IEP teams to identify these
               students properly; and
              Provide professional development to regular and special education
               teachers.

The Oregon Department of Education believes that the Oregon Statewide
Assessment System meets all of the above identified elements under their
current assessment plan.

Summary of the Current Flexibility for Students with Disabilities

           (1.0% Cap – severe cognitive disabilities)
           A very small percentage of students with disabilities may not ever
           achieve grade-level proficiency, even with the very best instruction.
           That is why the Department issued regulations under Title I that permit
           States to hold students with the most significant cognitive disabilities to
           alternate achievement standards and to include their proficient scores
           (subject to a 1.0 percent cap) in determining adequate yearly progress
           (AYP) under Title I.

           (Additional 2.0% Cap – persistent academic disabilities)
           There is another group of students with disabilities who can make
           significant progress but may not reach grade-level achievement
           standards within the same time frame as other students. Even after
           receiving the best-designed instructional interventions from highly
           trained instructors, a group of students with persistent academic
           disabilities, comprising approximately two percent of the school-age
           population, is not able to achieve at grade level. They are able to make
           significant progress toward grade-level standards when provided high-
           quality instructional interventions and measured with appropriate
           assessment instruments.




Flex/ayp                                                                      Page 2 of 2

								
To top